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Deployment Legal Matters

Parental Responsibility

Those unmarried fathers remaining behind who are either step-parents or partners with responsibility for children (if they haven't registered as the father on the birth certificate of the child, however, this only applies to children born after 1 Dec 03) should consider getting parental responsibility which provides formal legal recognition of their status when dealing with authorities over children issues such as schooling and health matters.

Housing

If renting a property and the tenancy is in the name of the deploying person, ensure that this will not cause any difficulties with the landlord prior to the deployment. Those who own property registered only in the name of the deploying person, may wish to seek legal advice to ensure that there will no complications whilst the owner of the property is deployed. All Regular and Reserve personnel who own or rent a private property remain liable to pay council tax on their own property to the local authority whilst absent from that property, as this normally remains their sole or main residence. Council tax and concessions are a matter for local authorities, and you should seek guidance from your local authority.

Private Fostering

If during the deployment any children (under the age of 16 - or 18 if disabled) are to be left in the care of someone who is not a close relative for periods of over 28 days there is a legal requirement to notify the local authorities to ensure the child receives the best possible care. Your local SSAFA FH worker or Local Authority Children Services department will be able to provide you with more advice. Do not leave it too late as time limits are set down - often up to 6 weeks before leaving the child. Further details are available on the following website:

http://www.privatefostering.org.uk/public

Making A Will

All personnel entitled to make a will are urged to do so. Anyone making a will should be advised that if for any reason they later wish to change the distribution of their estate they should make a new will. In addition, it may be desirable to make a will (or a fresh will) on any alteration of marital status or change of next-of-kin and it is important to make a will before proceeding overseas. If no will is made the estate (including money, balance of pay and personal belongings) must be distributed in the event of death according to the laws of the country or domicile governing intestate estates. This may result in the estate having to be distributed in a way which the deceased would not have wished and the nomination of a next-of-kin does not take the place of a will.

In exceptional circumstances, Service personnel, including those under 18 years of age, may be able to make informal unwitnessed wills, usually during wartime, but in the interests of their beneficiaries they should make a formal will at the earliest opportunity. For those serving overseas, general advice on the making of a will can be obtained from officers serving in the Army Legal Aid Units and RAF Legal Services but personnel should seek the aid of a UK solicitor for the drafting of a will.

For safekeeping, wills may be lodged with: the individual's bank or building society; a solicitor; the probate registry (via the local probate office) for a nominal fee of £1, with a member of the family or close friend; or the AFPAA Defence Handling Centre (DHC) Glasgow. Individuals who store their wills with DHC, Glasgow or make a new or replacement will, are to complete a will form MOD Form 106 and covering letter JPA N004, and forward them using the MOD Form 106A, Will Form envelope, to AFPAA (DHC) Glasgow. The DHC, Glasgow will also accept civilian-generated wills but due to storage constraints all wills are to be sent in the standardised pre-printed envelopes, MOD Form 106A, available from the Unit Human Resources Flight.

Lasting Power of Attorney

Individuals may consider appointing a Lasting Power of Attorney ahead of their deployment. Full details of the benefits of such are detailed in the document below:

Lasting Power of Attorney (PDF, 62KB)